Town could be saved from homes

OTTERY St Mary may escape a feared huge increase in house building during the next 20 years, following a review of Government strategy.

OTTERY St Mary may escape a feared huge increase in house building during the next 20 years, following a review of Government strategy.On October 31, 2007, Ottery councillors Roger Giles and David Cox held a public meeting to allow people to have their say on how they want to see the Ottery area develop.This followed the publication of the South West regional spatial strategy, which said 11,400 new homes were needed in East Devon between 2006 and 2026.Now a review of this strategy, which has dramatically increased the amount of new homes needed to 17,100, says many of them have been allocated to the area immediately to the east of Exeter and not the Ottery area.While the allocation of the houses to be built in this part of East Devon is yet to be decided, it does seem as though Ottery will now only see something like 200 to 400 extra houses over 20 years.Mr Giles said: "Concern about the number of houses to be built was expressed at the meeting."The maximum people wanted was 450, however many wished the number built should be much fewer than that. "While I feel very strongly about the amount of housing that has been imposed in the western part of East Devon, I am very relieved that the threat of a huge number of houses to be built in Ottery and the surrounding communities such as Tipton and West Hill has been substantially diminished." "There was a very real fear that Ottery might have had to accept another 500 to 1,000 houses in the next 20 years."He said he recognised the need for housing, particularly affordable housing for younger and less well-off people, but he remains utterly opposed to Ottery people being forced to accept a large amount of housing against their wishes.Mr Giles said he still had concerns over the environmental effect of any building programme and its effect on tourism.He said "Not only will we see trees and hedges uprooted and lovely Devon countryside covered with concrete and tarmac, but there will be a massive increase in traffic, congestion and pollution.

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